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Title: Genetic control of root development in Arabidopsis
Author: Shen, Weiran
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 689X
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2019
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The development of the root system represents an important feature of plant development, as the root is the site of water and nutrient uptake, it anchors the plant in the soil, and is a site of interaction with other organisms, which may be pathogenic (such as nematodes) or beneficial (such as mycorrhiza). The model organism Arabidopsis thaliana is an excellent model to study the genetic basis of root development, and to study the control of gene expression in response to hormones and as mediators of hormone action. A key question in developmental biology is how genes and hormone signalling systems interact to control cell identity, cell division, cell patterning and cell differentiation. To address this, the work described in this thesis focused of two genes, previously identified as playing important roles in root development - the POLARIS (PLS) gene, which encodes a 36 amino acids peptide; and MERISTEM-DEFECTIVE (MDF), which encodes an SR protein. In the course of this work, information on the pathways influenced by each gene was determined using high resolution RNA profiling followed by bioinformatics analysis, and information was used to identify pathways in which the two genes are involved. The results obtained show that PLS is required for both correct ethylene signalling and, independently, auxin biosynthesis in response to ethylene; and PLS exerts its effect via control of the tryptophan-independent pathway for auxin biosynthesis. It is also shown that MDF is a likely splicing factor, required for the regulation of auxin pathway genes and transcription factors expressed in the root meristem via the control of alternative splicing - it likely controls the balance in the meristem between stem cell identity and differentiation. The results provide new insights into the genetic and molecular mechanisms by which these genes regulate hormone signalling pathways to in turn control the development of the Arabidopsis root.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available